Consensus And The Five Fold – Part III
Question: How do you get a consensus from five totally different passions, drives, functions, and points of view? How can five become one?
Answer: 1) Allowing the Holy Spirit to be in total control; 2) each believer “laying down his life for the brethren”, individually and corporately; by 3) submitting in service to and from one another, giving away ones giftings to serve others, and receiving willingly the gifts of those so diversely different than from ourselves as equal peers in Christ.
How: Through consensus!
Consensus comes through the process of “giving” and “taking”. Not only are we to “give” to one another, but we must also learn how to “receive” from one another. This unconditional giving and taking can build a rich relationship of becoming equal peers, equal brothers and sisters in the Lord, from once shallow friendships. A person driven by the passion for evangelism needs brothers and sisters who are pastoral to nurture him/her, who are teachers to ground one in the Word, who are prophets to bring life to the Word, and who are apostolic to “see over” one’s welfare individually and as a group. This five fold process brings an unique form of accountability unknown to the modern church because it is built on a give and take relationship between believers built on trust: the willingness to receive and yield to another’s point of view diversely different from your own while giving support from your own gifting. This gives all the confidence to move toward in the same direction together.
Consensus comes through relationships rather than positions. When a believer learns to die to self and is willing to lay down his/her life for their brothers/sisters, recognizing them as equal peers, they can begin to respect and trust one another rather than appose one another and always be defending their position. Diverse points of view can actually be productive, by creating a diverse support system around one’s own particular gifting. In a peer believer five fold leadership model, no one is the “head” or “ultimate leader” as in a hierarchal structure, for Jesus is the head. No one gifting or passion dominates over another, not even the apostle’s. Any of the five fold giftings may rise and take leadership in any given situation and the other four will follow, not oppose, by standing in support along side them, not above or below them in stature, giving them a more diverse, unique gift that can produce a far different outcome than what we are use to today. This supportive attitude brings consensus. The pastoral/shepherd driven believer may rise with a “nurturing” solution, while the evangelist may have what is needed to “birth” the process while the teacher “grounds it in the Word” releasing the prophet to “activate” that Word into a Rhema, living Word, while the apostolic driven believer just sits back and “sees over” what the Holy Spirit is doing and how He wants it done through obedience. The group arrives at a consensus. The process may be totally different the next time if the process began with a prophetic word which sparks an evangelist to birth that word, the shepherd to nurture it, the teacher to ground it, and the apostle to release the leading of the Holy Spirit to bring yet another consensus, another resolution, another move of unity in the same direction in agreement with each supporting one another.
Consensus comes through accountability of the willingness to serve and be served. When someone serves you unconditionally for a long time, you naturally trust them, not because they have a title or position, but because of the relationship that has been built between the two of you. If you have faithfully served them, they trust you; it is reciprocal. It is easier to arrive at a consensus when the parties involved have faithfully served and trusted each other through Christ-like relationships.
Consensus arrives when all these diverse passions and points of view point in the same direction, toward Jesus, the Head, and being obedient to the Holy Spirit to set that direction. Does the outcome of this group bring glory and edify Jesus is the standard. The bottom line remains “Who do you trust?” Is your full trust in the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ? No matter how irrational the steps may look that you must take to be obedient to the Holy Spirit, can you trust the Holy Spirit to lead you through those steps? Is your wisdom, rationale, or intellect greater than His?
Consensus’ goal through the five fold is “the building up of the body of Christ, until we all attain the unity of faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” If we truly follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and are willing to “lay down our lives for the brethren” by unconditionally serving and receiving support from one another, will that not be “building up the body of Christ,” reaching an “unity of faith,” and personally growing toward become “a mature man in Christ, becoming Christ-like and God-ly? This “fruit” produced by the five fold is exactly what is needed to arrive to a consensus.